George Lucas Museum Gets L.A. City Council Approval
Groundbreaking for the $1.5 billion museum is scheduled for later this year.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council put its stamp of approval on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, approving plans for the $1.5 billion museum by a unanimous vote.
In January, George Lucas announced that he had selected Los Angeles over his hometown of San Francisco as the location for the museum, which was a coup for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and local elected officials. Construction of the museum, which is expected to take three years, will result in thousands of construction jobs and an estimated 1,000 permanent positions. The museum also comes with an endowment of at least $400 million. Previous proposals to locate the museum in San Francisco, and then later in Chicago, both failed. Support for the museum by the city council comes as no surprise, but it allows for the next phase of construction to begin.
The groundbreaking for the museum, which will be built at Exposition Park near the University of Southern California — Lucas' alma mater — is scheduled to start later this year.
"The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will add another world-class institution to our city's cultural landscape, and bring a breathtaking architectural jewel to Exposition Park," Garcetti said in a statement.
The five-story museum, which was designed by Chinese architect Ma Yansong, will span across seven acres and will be organized into three verticals: the history of narrative art, digital art and the art of cinema. The permanent collection includes works by David Hockney and Norman Rockwell, and will include a range of one-of-a-kind ephemera including Star Wars memorabilia and illustrations from children's books.
According to reports, Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, were not only present at the city council meeting Tuesday but were met with applause. Hobson assured the council that this was not "a vanity project," while Lucas stressed the importance of this type of art. "This kind of art is very important, and it's especially important to adolescents," he said, according to a report in CurbedLA.
Added Garcetti: "I am proud to have worked with George Lucas and Mellody Hobson to bring this incredible gift to Los Angeles — and I applaud the City Council for voting to approve a gem for South L.A. that will touch the lives of Angelenos and visitors for generations to come."